A motorcyclist is dead after hitting an elk and flying off his bike, Colorado State Patrol reported.

The 52-year-old was riding down U.S. 50 just before 5:30 a.m. when he hit the animal, was thrown off his bike and run over by a pickup truck behind him that was unable to swerve out of the way.

State Patrol did not say whether he was wearing a helmet, Gazette news partner KKTV reported.

U.S. 50 just west of the Pueblo Fremont county line was closed for about three hours.

State Patrol did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the status of the elk.

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